My, if that chicken don't look good. Fried chicken in a iron skillet is a dish fit fot a king . . . or a preacher. Law, that reminds me . . . did I ever tell you about the time, oh, it was many a year ago, that the preacher came to dinner?
It was way back when Luther was alive and Cletus, he must have been nine or ten. Well, Luther had asked the preacher to take Sunday dinner with us and it just so happened that I had a gang of young cockerels right at fryer size. So I'd butchered one early that morning and had it ready to fry when we come back from church. I had a world of other things -- it was this time of year and there was fresh roasting ears and tomatoes and cabbage for slaw and beans and yellow squash and fried okra and mashed potatoes and biscuits and I don't know what all.
And that preacher set in to eating. 'Sister Gentry,' he says, 'I love fried chicken; I mean, I can hide me some chicken."
And he commenced with the white meat and when it was all gone, he reached for a drumstick. I whispered to Cletus to run out and get another chicken and fix it for cooking right quick. That boy was such a hand to butcher things.
So Cletus brought me another young rooster and I jointed it and fried it and had it ready just as the preacher was gnawing on the last wing. He set to on the next platter, saying that there wasn't nothing better than fried chicken, hot out of the skillet and I whispered to Cletus that he best go get another un . . .
When there weren't nothing left of them three birds but a pile of bones -- and the most of that by the preacher's plate, the preacher leaned back in his chair, kindly patting his belly. He pulled out a toothpick and was working away with it when, out in the chicken yard, my old rooster began to crow like one thing.
'Just listen to that feller,' says the preacher, the toothpick waggling in the side of his mouth. 'Don't he sound proud?'
Luther, who hadn't said pea-turkey all through the meal, looked at that pile of bones by the preacher's plate. "Humph,' says he, 'you'd sound proud too if you had three sons in the ministry.'